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  • Southside

Judicial challenge to Dún Laoghaire Harbour plan

Tuesday, 10th January, 2017 2:00pm
Judicial challenge to Dún Laoghaire Harbour plan
Judicial challenge to Dún Laoghaire Harbour plan

THE Save Our Seafront group was granted leave by the High Court last week to challenge a decision by An Bord Pleanála to approve cruise ship docking in Dún Laoghaire Harbour.

Mr Justice Max Barrett granted the group leave to judicially review the board’s decision on a number of grounds and adjourned the matter until January 31.

Last year planning permission was granted for the controversial multi-million plan to develop the harbour.

The new cruise berth is aiming to attract super cruise liners, which are restricted from docking in or near the capital due to a lack of capacity.

After several delays An Bord Pleanála eventually gave the €18 million cruise berth project the green light with several extensive conditions.

But Save our Seafront claimed that while last November’s decision by An Bord Pleanála restricted the size of ships accessing the harbour, it could still result in a significant loss of amenity to existing harbour users.

The chairman of Save Our Seafront, local TD Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP), claimed that the board’s decision did not properly take into account the environmental implications of dredging and other aspects of the plan.

 “We applied for a judicial review in order to protect Dún Laoghaire Harbour for the people and the natural environment,” Deputy Boyd Barret stated.

“A giant cruise berth in Dún Laoghaire Harbour would negatively impact on all users of the harbour - walkers, boat users and the varied wildlife.

“Our harbour is a wonderfully historic and cultural asset and should be developed to enhance all aspects of our harbour rather than limiting it to giant cruise ships.”

Senator Victory Boyhan, a former Dún Laoghaire Rathdown county councillor, strongly argued against granting planning permission for a super-size cruise ship terminal in the harbour.

He stated: “It was the (An Bord Pleanana’s) inspector’s opinion that the sensitivity of the harbour having regard to its architectural heritage, social importance, recreational value and its proximity to designated sites of European importance were not taken into sufficient consideration.”

A spokesperson for An Bord Pleanála said they did not comment on cases that are the subject of a judicial review.

“In fact, the board has a firm practice of avoiding comment on cases that it has decided,” the spokesperson said. “This is to do with the quasi-judicial nature of the work.”

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